The White Knuckles of Hope

These days seem increasingly dark and foreboding. Many of us have railed against the oncoming train even as it has plowed this country over and I will continue to do so, even if it grinds the fabric of our collective being into powder.

Old steam train pulling into a tunnel belching steam and smoke

In the midst of that, the faint light of hope has continued to glimmer in the voices of those whose knuckles turn white, prying open the rapidly narrowing doorway back to the comfort of American safety. 

Two pairs of hands sticking out of the elevator door

It’s been my desire and compulsion, as a physician, to contribute to that hope even as my own fingers begin to bleed on the cruel, jagged edges of hate and bigotry. That desire is being overridden by an approaching specter of hopelessness.  The doorway continues to narrow and the banshees howl in the encroaching darkness.  I have, at times, observed my various ideas about how to bring more hope to others with a deriding cynicism.  How could I be so PollyAnna?  Who am I to begin to think that my thoughts; hopes; voice or action could make one iota of difference?  
 A particularly spiritually-minded friend of mine recently told me that “this has to happen”. 

Deep space background with stardust and shining star. Milky way cosmic background. Star dust and pixie dust glitter space backdrop. Space stars and planet conceptual image.

This travesty; this devastation of human decency; this rise of power on the back of a monster named greed, oppression and the exaltation of violence has to happen in order for the next phase of human existence to be ushered in.  He assured me that the greater good will, indeed win out.  The scientist of me heard those words with extreme skepticism of “How do you know that?”.  The mother of me heard those words with a silent response of “Fuck the Cosmos and it’s grand plan!  I have a son to protect!”  The psychiatrist of me heard those words and thought of the many books written on Psychopathy and knew that it is a sorrowful inevitability that humans will follow the person who spouts their beliefs back to them, offering promises to assuage their concerns with actual substance, all the while smiling deceitfully in the knowledge that the promises are as empty as a dry well.
We are about to usher into the White House, a Psychopath.

USA, 2016. Smiling president Donald Trump, pointing his index finger towards the viewer in front of a waved American flag and cloudy sky. No specific place, date or single image for reference, USA.

All of the indications are there, starkly visible for everyone to see.
The words said during his campaign that lured in the working poor and the downtrodden who feel forgotten by the status-quo, are evaporating into thin air like the putrid smoke from a funeral pyre.

Old illustration of a funeral pyre in Kolkota. Created by Therond after Andrasay, published on Le Tour du Monde, Paris, 1860

And whose body is burning on the pyre?  The one that housed the Soul of Democracy.  It housed the hopes and dreams of millions who endured unspeakable terror to escape torture and fascism and to live, finally, in peace, in the great Democracy of the United States.  The ideas of wealth; power; world dominance; hatred; bigotry, dance around the pyre with distorted faces alight with glee while the ideas of equality; inclusivity; peace; love and hope are left to watch in horror and fight amongst themselves about who suffered the most through it all.
What can be done?  Is this, indeed, a question best considered through the lens of Eschatology?  Is this as some would suggest, the end of times?  Perhaps the answer is found among the more realistic interpretations of that mode of thinking.  Perhaps this is the end of an era.  Perhaps the events that are yet to unfold will open an opportunity to truly “drain the swamp” and find the gold that lies in the mud beneath.  Is that where the hope lies, buried in the mud under the swamp?
I am reminded of a poem by David Whyte, The Well of Grief.

The Well of Grief

Those who will not slip beneath

the still surface on the well of grief

turning downward through its black water

to the place we cannot breathe

will never know the source from which we drink,

the secret water, cold and clear,

nor find in the darkness glimmering

the small round coins

thrown by those who wished for something else.

David Whyte

75 thoughts on “The White Knuckles of Hope

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      Be well and please let me know if there is something you’d like me to write about.


    1. Thank you, Frank. It’s cathartic to write in these troubled times. Coming together to share views is empowering and enlightening. I hope you will stay tuned. I’m off on a tangent, at this moment in thoughts about the Goddess Archetypes, after the Women’s March. Powerful!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. I’m wondering when my knuckles get to relax and let some fresh blood in. It’s a bumpy ride these days, but if we stay vigilant and active, perhaps we will make a difference. Keep reading. I’m working on ways to create a subscribership.

      Warm regards,

    2. Thank you so much. The opposite sector seems to be caught up in their own confirmation bias, for now. I fear even their blinders are soon to be ripped off as the unavoidable truth is presented.

      Will be writing more on happier notes like how to make your life better with supplements.

      Warm regards,

    1. Hello and thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Soon to come will be posts on how to improve your life with supplements and why they are important to mental health…a commodity that is in short stock in these stressful days.


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